KANSAS CITY -- Catcher Mike Napoli, who is on the disabled list with a strained left quad muscle, tested his injury with several runs from home to first base on Tuesday afternoon. But he is not running full speed, he is not running the bases and he has not tested the injury with quick starts, stops and cuts.
Those are the final tests needed before he is ready to play. He may try again on Wednesday, but a lot simply depends on how he feels each day. Napoli tried to push it on the last homestand, but only aggravated the muscle and caused another delay.
"I want to push it but I can't," Napoli said. "If I have one more setback, I won't be back the rest of the year. I felt something the other day in Texas and had to shut it down the first time I tried to run the bases. We're trying to progress, I just can't go all-out yet."
With Napoli out, Geovany Soto has started 18 of the Rangers' last 23 games at catcher, including Tuesday against the Royals. He has also started 22 overall since being acquired from the Cubs on July 31. The Rangers are 16-6 in his 22 starts and their pitchers have a 3.54 ERA when he is behind the plate.
"He calls a very good game," pitcher Yu Darvish said after working with Soto on Monday. "A lot of things go through his mind before he puts his fingers down. He's doing a very good job."